Guilford County, which has been under fire in recent months for a lack of minority participation in its construction and service contracts, has just hired a new purchasing director who’ll now become one of a very few female African-American directors in Guilford County government.

This is the second recent step by the county that’s meant, in part, to help address the lack of contracts awarded by the county to minority-owned companies.  Last year, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a new position meant to enhance the county’s use of minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE).  That position was filled late last year and this week the county is getting more help in that regard.

On Monday, May 20, Guilford County announced that it had hired Jacqueline Bishop Boyce as the county’s new purchasing director.  As the director, Boyce will oversee the bid process for major construction contracts as well as the awarding of smaller county contracts that don’t have to be put out for bids.

Boyce, who spent the last 15 years as the Procurement Division director for Durham County, also has experience working for non-profits and a water utility.

A Monday press release announcing Boyce’s hiring stated that Boyce’s addition to Guilford County Government “further underscores the county’s commitment to supplier diversity, quality evaluation and selection of vendors, and collaboration with the county’s new Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) focus initiatives.”

According to county officials, the two offices will remain independent but will work together on promoting diversity in the county’s purchasing and contract efforts.

Guilford County Deputy Manager Clarence Grier said on Monday that he’s looking forward to having Boyce working for the county. Grier said Boyce’s extensive experience both in and out of government will be a real asset.

This is a very important time for Guilford County and its Purchasing Department because the county has just started, and will be starting, a number of large projects and the county is expected to bid out a good number of construction and service contracts in the near future.

Boyce, who earned her undergraduate degree at North Carolina Central University and went on to graduate from the UNC School of Government County Government Program, will start her new job on Tuesday, May 28.